National Libraries Day Scotland

As in previous years, I’ve been Storifying the tweets from Scottish libraries (and some of their users) for National Libraries Day. For events in the week running up to NLD see Part 1, and for the day itself see Part 2. They’re quite long, so I’ve picked out a few highlights.

For me, Dundee Libraries won the internet again on NLD! They had several strands to their output – quizzes, quotes, balloons and book faces. The latter were my favourite:

#Shelfies were also encouraged by many libraries – it didn’t take place on NLD itself, but it’s hard to see how a #shelfie wedding could be bettered! Here’s Glasgow’s Mitchell Library:

It wasn’t just public libraries that took part of course – there were free sweets for adding a leaf to Abertay University’s Wishing Tree:

And the University of the West of Scotland displayed its staff’s favourite reads:

Check the Storifies for more great ideas!

PS Can’t find your library in them? Maybe nobody tweeted – or maybe the library didn’t use the special #nldScot hashtag that CILIPS requested. I didn’t have time to go hunting the standard #NLD15 stream, although some did end up in my timeline anyway.


National Libraries Day in Dundee

Glasgow Library Tweetups

Kevin McGinley, Library Information Worker and Social Media Admin for Leisure and Culture Dundee Libraries, has written this guest post on how @dundeelibraries created their contribution to our National Libraries Day Storify.

National Libraries Day on 9 February 2013 was a culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK. Our involvement began when we were asked by Anabel Marsh of Glasgow Library Tweetups if we would like to take part in a Libraries takeover on Twitter. It seemed a great concept and we quickly decided to take up the challenge. We were inspired by the fantastic faceBOOK project by photographer Keith Pattison and decided to use this as the inspiration to tweet similar photos throughout the day. We have to say we were a bit nervous about how our customers would react to having their photos broadcast all over the…

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National Libraries Day in Scotland

Instead of having an event for National Libraries Day this year, GLTU (Glasgow Library Tweetups) decided to create a Twitter snapshot of Scottish libraries – what people use them for and why they value them. After much tweeting and retweeting, we got a great response. It’s obviously not comprehensive, but there’s a geographical spread from Orkney down to Dumfries and Galloway and representatives of public, academic, school and special libraries, so there’s pretty broad coverage. There are cute kids, a dog, a cat (cheated a bit on that one) and cake – what’s not to love? Head off to the Storify to see the full results – it’s too long to embed, but here’s Strathclyde’s NLD cake as a taster. (Too late to taste literally, I fear). And if you just have time to look at one part of the Storify (it’s quite long), scroll down to Dundee Libraries and check what they did. It is truly awesome.

A couple of lessons I’ve learned which might be useful to anyone else doing this sort of thing – Storify is not as easy to use as I thought for something on this scale. I started with the app which seemed to “eat” tweets, I think because it kept crashing. The PC version kept freezing too, so that I would have to come out and start again. Also, services such as Twitpic transferred seamlessly to Storify but Hootsuite’s links did not. Adding the tweet does not display the picture so, in most cases, I have ditched the tweet and included the picture. If I did this again, I might look for something different – but on the other hand, Storify IS free!

Finally, the idea behind the project was that it might be a springboard from which to launch some in-depth case studies of the role libraries play in people’s lives. If anyone has any ideas about how to do that, please let me know.

Thing 6: Online networks (with added cake)


Now, excuse the gratuitous cake shot. I know librarians love cake, but I also know that cake has nothing to do with online networking. However, it does explain why my mind has been on other things recently with little room for even the one network that I do use regularly, Twitter. My library closed on Friday, but I’ll come back to that at the end.

I find it hard to imagine the effort involved in belonging to a variety of networks and actually keeping up. I understand that people use them for different things but I’ve always found Twitter enough. This might have to change though. I did sign up to Facebook a while back because, I think, of something you had to like to enter a competition. So I have this sparse little page without a picture and no friends! When I leave my job I will have time to tart it up and use it properly – many of my soon-to-be former colleagues use it a lot and it will be a good way to keep up with them. I’ve often thought of signing up to LinkedIn too, but somehow never got round to that either. Again, if I want to keep up my library contacts it might be a good idea to do that soon. So those are my resolutions for Thing 6: sort myself out with Facebook and LinkedIn.

Of the other networks mentioned in the cpd23 blog, I don’t have any need for LISNPN or LATN and the only thing I’ve used CILIP Communities for is to fill out my mentor profile. I can’t see that there’s much going on there. Google seems like the new kid trying too hard to be liked – they’ve had Buzz and Wave and now Google+, and I’m still not sure that one is going to turn into the next big thing as I think they’d like. I love Pinterest, but I don’t really see that as a social network, although I am interested in what other people pin. It’s great for storing recipes which I can then take into the kitchen on my iPad. (Who am I kidding? I’ve never actually made one of them but they look nice!)

And that brings me back full circle to the library and the cake. I had the brilliant idea of making a commemorative Pinterest board: Farewell Jordanhill Library. And harking back to Thing 4, I also Storified our last day. Sad times!

Thing 4: (3) Storify – funny stories for Colin

Have any funny things happened to you in the library? I’ll tell you why I’m asking in a moment. First, Storify. I had actually started using it before Thing 4 – like many things, it suddenly became more attractive when I found there was a free iPad app, which meant I could play around with it at odd moments. I haven’t really graduated much beyond using it as a repository of tweets, but I’ve made three so far. The first two were to chronicle library events: the MmITS AGM featuring a visit to Glasgow by the famous @OrkneyLibrary, aka Stewart Bain, and #GLTU4 – Cellos and Bellows.

Number three is where the funny stories come in. Many years ago, I worked in East Kilbride Libraries with a young man called Colin Hough. We’ve kept in touch sporadically, though I haven’t seen him for several years, but I knew he was starting to fulfil his ambition to be a writer. A few Sundays ago, I was reading a TV review of a short play starring Alison Steadman and was astonished, thrilled and amazed to notice the name of the writer: Colin Hough. Wow, Alison Steadman! He’s arrived, I thought, as I rushed to iPlayer. I thoroughly enjoyed A Civil Arrangement – imagine a less bleak, updated version of one of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and you’ve got it about right. I then searched for Colin on Twitter and told him what I thought. Now we are trying to arrange a meet up with other ex-East Kilbride staff, and all because of a TV review.

Anyway, back to Storify. A few days later, Colin tweeted to ask if any of my followers could think of funny stories for his next play, described as Grace Brothers for libraries. I got a few replies, mostly involving disgusting substances, and made them into a Storify for Colin. However, if you can think of any more you are welcome to leave them in the comments here and I’ll pass them on. My favourite was Kate’s story about the naked man in the sink – and if that’s not enough to get you to read about #colinsplay I don’t know what is!